Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Pay, Benefits, and Retirement Plans in Peru

Updated 1 July 2013

Pay
The average pay in Peru is $6-8 an hour, so you'll probably earn about $600-800 a month. If you don't have a budget the first thing I recommend doing is learning how to budget. You can live on $600-800 a month as long as you don't live like an expat meaning don’t expect to take taxis everywhere and eat out all the time. Look more at the following articles for info on money and budgeting.

The average Peruvian salary is around $250 a month. However, you have to remember most of them live with their family, so they are not paying rent or food. Also, they will take public transport rather than taxis, so this allows them to save money.

International Schools
International schools pay around $25,000 plus benefits, but you usually need a teaching license (qualified teaching status) from your country plus two years experience teaching in a school and you may have to sign a two-year contract. Also, if you have a legal working visa, you will be more likely to be paid more, because the school knows that you will stay for a while rather than only teach in order to get money to travel.

Earning More Money
A good place to start is Teach English Abroad: The Complete Guide has everything you need to know. The Ultimate Teaching Position shows you how you can do what you love while being your own boss. You'll be taken through the steps of opening your own online teaching school and learn how you can teach English online while living anywhere in the world. You can even teach while on vacation.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to Peru, and it'll allow you to network easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.
 
Perks and Benefits
Benefits may include transport, insurance, lunch, a housing stipend, and paid vacations. Make sure you clarify everything with your employer and sign a contract. You will usually have one month of vacation unless you work at a school, in that case you will probably get more than a month of vacations.

Some schools may put you on planilla. That means that you get an extra month salary in July and December. You also get another bonus in June, called CTS. This is an unemployment fund. You're allowed to take half of the money out every six months. If you quit or get fired, you’re allowed access to the funds after completing the necessary paperwork.

Retirement Plans
Retirement plans in Peru are called AFP. (If you're considering a retirement visa, look at this article about Retirement Visas in Peru.) Your employer should set up the fund for you. When you leave Peru or retire you can get AFP contributions back on a simple checking account. Use CPP as a reference and after 6 weeks you should get a wire on your personal checking account. Check your AFP for more details, here’s information about Integra as an example. Some of the most common ones are below.
Reference Letters
If you leave your job because you finished your contract or quit, you should get both recommendation letters and a constancia de trabajo. Recommendation letters speak well of you and your work. The constancia de trabajo should be given by the head of the company and should state whether you were full-time or part-time, the dates when you started and finished working, your title, and duties. If possible, have this put in your recommendation letter as well. Have the constancia de trabajo signed and stamped with the company seal. If you’re in planilla, when you leave your job, you’ll get liquidacion, which is basically your last salary plus a month and a half. You can also take out all the money in your CTS. Be sure to ask about this.

The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

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